After a very long hiatus I’m finally glad to be back at the races, and fittingly it was at the trails which were always a favorite of mine. For the first time I was able to run the trails of Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna and I could probably say we have another “playground” to explore, albeit a little distant from the Metro.
Last weekend the New Balance Trail Adventure Run was held in the trails of Nuvali with the 15K starting at Evoliving while the rest of us started at Solenad (I signed up for the 10K, the other event was the 5K Duo). It was one of those few races outside Metro Manila with a free round trip shuttle service to and from the venue.
Days before the event I received an invite from New Balance courtesy of Planet Sports to join this trail run. As much as I really wanted to race I was reluctant to join at first because of my long absence from running. When I finally figured I can still run the distance I was tempted to join the Rock and Run event a day prior to the trail run because my body was no longer used to waking up early during Sundays. Add to that that it was really early if I were to catch the shuttle service. Obviously the charm of the trail prevailed, but not until the last day I had to RSVP (how typical Pinoy, confirming on the last day!).
Because of the shuttle service I was able to arrive in Nuvali relatively early. I didn’t even realize that I was sharing the bus with some familiar faces I’ve not seen in a while (and I was sad when I got my seat because I didn’t see outright anyone I know!). I was trying to catch some shuteyes during the short trip but wasn’t able to get any (due to some technical difficulties we had on the bus).
There I was in Nuvali, feeling like a stranger, like those early days of running when I didn’t know anyone from the sea of people. Fortunately it didn’t take long for me to see running friends so I was back in my comfort zone. After some time the 15K runners were called to their starting line a few kilometers away, and a few minutes later it was our turn.
Jinoe (of takbo.ph) was initially with me and the Logans (Craig and Michelle) during the early part of the race. As usual it’s quite futile to set any records on trails so I’m not in any hurry, and since I’m still not quite 100% yet enjoying the race was my goal. Having some good company to share the trail makes it more fun so it was quite pleasant that I wasn’t alone exploring the trails.
The trails of Nuvali was mixed natural and man-made and for a lot of areas wide enough for three runners. It also features running riverside (or in the river itself if you prefer) with some really interesting features. It’s a very enjoyable area which is why it’s no surprise that a lot of running and biking events were held here. I sure was glad that I picked this race for the weekend.
All legs end in Solenad which is quite an ideal place to do so as it is not only picturesque, there are also shops there for the hungry runner and located nearby a place where runners can take their showers. After finishing runners were treated to a loot bag and a bottle of a sports drink from the sponsors. Unfortunately though not all runners were able to receive their finisher’s shirt (including myself) as they quickly ran out of sizes except for the large ones, but New Balance promised to deliver so our contact numbers and shirt sizes were taken as to when we may claim our token.
The New Balance Trail Adventure Run was a very well organized race, particularly for a trail run, as the route was strategically marked so there was little chance of getting lost; there were lots of marshals en route to assist runners; water stations were sufficient; trail route and features were excellent; and the distance was pretty accurate! Once again New Balance didn’t disappoint in delivering a very good race.
I would like to thank Planet Sports and New Balance for inviting me to join this event. I really enjoyed the experience a lot and I hope there’d be more races to come!
Race results courtesy New Balance Philippines: